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Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2018-33
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2018-33
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Development and technical paper 19 Mar 2018

Development and technical paper | 19 Mar 2018

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This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of this manuscript was accepted for the journal Geoscientific Model Development (GMD) and is expected to appear here in due course.

Physical parametrisation of fire-spotting for operational fire spread models: response analysis with a model based on the Level Set Method

Inderpreet Kaur1, Anton Butenko2,3, and Gianni Pagnini4,5 Inderpreet Kaur et al.
  • 1Department of Atmospheric Chemistry, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Mainz, Germany
  • 2Space Research Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia
  • 3Institute of Geography, University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany
  • 4BCAM–Basque Center for Applied Mathematics, Bilbao, Basque Country – Spain
  • 5Ikerbasque–Basque Foundation for Science, Bilbao, Basque Country – Spain

Abstract. Fire-spotting is often responsible for a dangerous flare up in the wildfire and causes secondary ignitions isolated from the primary fire zone leading to perilous situations. In this paper a complete physical parametrisation of fire-spotting is presented within a formulation aimed to include random processes into operational fire spread models. This formulation can be implemented into existing operational models as a post-processing scheme at each time step, without calling for any major changes in the original framework. In particular, the efficacy of this formulation has already been shown for wildfire simulators based on an Eulerian moving interface method, namely the Level Set Method (LSM) that forms the baseline of the operational software WRF-SFIRE, and for wildfire simulators based on a Lagrangian front tracking technique, namely the Discrete Event System Specification (DEVS) that forms the baseline of the operational software FOREFIRE. The simple and computationally less expensive parametrisation includes the important parameters necessary for describing the landing behavior of the firebrands. The results from different simulations with a simple model based on the LSM highlight the response of the parametrisation to varying fire intensities, wind conditions and different firebrand radii. The contribution of the firebrands towards increasing the fire perimeter varies according to different concurrent conditions and the simulation results prove to be in agreement with the physical processes. Among the many rigorous approaches available in literature to model the firebrand transport and distribution, the approach presented here proves to be simple yet versatile for application to operational fire spread models.

Inderpreet Kaur et al.
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Inderpreet Kaur et al.
Inderpreet Kaur et al.
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Short summary
Wildfires are a concrete problem with impact on human life, property and the environment. An extremely dangerous phenomenon is the so-called fire-spotting, i.e., the generation of secondary ignitions responsible for dangerous flare up in the wildfire. The aim of the research is the improvement of software for risk management by proposing a complete physical characterization of fire-spotting within an approach that is ready to be implemented as a post-processing routine of standard outputs.
Wildfires are a concrete problem with impact on human life, property and the environment. An...
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